Your marriage proposal left something to be desired. You can’t remember the last time you told your mother that you loved her. Hey, you’re just not good with emotions. So how can you write a restaurant review that says how you really feel?
Abandon the Obvious. Start by ending your love affair with words like good, delicious, and perfect. They’re the comfort blankets of the English language and you’re all grown up now. You don’t need to be a foodie to know what you’re tasting. Remember it. Was it crispy? Was it soft on the inside? Did it have a sweet aftertaste?
Take Pictures. Pictures will jolt your memory and fill in the gaps in your description. Plus, everyone loves a little smutty food porn. Take these examples.
A photo by justin wickedly labeled, “All You Can Eat”. From Tadashi Sushi.
A burrito for a small army from Sandiago’s Mexican Grill. Photo by fattiusthebear.
Write about the Interesting and Funny. Was there a fire in the kitchen? Were the men sitting one table over squabbling over their golf game? These things are all part of the dining experience. If it really stood out in your memory, write about it.
Don’t Hide Your Personality. Some of us can do the whole swirl, sniff and slurp wine tasting without giggling, and some of us can’t. So what if you don’t write for Gourmet magazine? There are still countless numbers of people who want to read about your opinion. After all, that’s why they’re visiting a public restaurant review site.
Re-Read Your Review. After you’ve finished, take a moment to look back. Check for typos that make you look silly. Try to read it from the point of view of a stranger: would you be captivated by what you’re reading? Would you find it useful? Would you give yourself an A? Tweak as necessary.
Menuism Users Show You How It’s Done
Or, select words from the superstars.
Motto: Searching the bounty main for the best restaurants!
Best Trait: His honesty results in laugh-out-loud reviews. He also brings in personal experience. “I’ve slopped food in cleaner pig troughs then the bathroom at this restaurant.” (Taco Bell, Lynwood)
Memorable quotes: “I’m telling you what, I love the service at this place. I think next time I’ll try one of their Subs in a Tub.”(Jersey Mike’s Subs)
Best Trait: Her far-reaching vocabulary: not surprising, considering she’s a professional writer (and photographer). She describes the Mexican Bloody Mary at Café Colonial as “a mix of vodka and tequila with perfectly piquant tomato juice and spices.” And she makes the Shrimp al Ajillo at El Faro sound like a Biblical experience. “A terrific rendition of this incredible classic – small shrimp, bubbling in a clay casserole filled with hot sauce and an immense amount of garlic…” Want some yet?
Memorable Quotes: “You have to be a super-hardcore capsaicin addict to tango with these peppers.” (Spicy & Tasty)
Motto: The deliciousness is in the details!
Best Trait: He merrily foodies his way from start to finish: his four visits to the Three Seasons Restaurant in Palo Alto cumulated in an 811-word review. Skip a sentence and you’ll be missing out on gourmet-ing vicariously. But he’s no grumpy food critic: in his hundreds of words, you’ll be loath to find any more critical than “wasn’t great.”
Memorable Quotes: Worth noting are his epic struggles with the limiting star rating system. About Saha he writes, “Four stars, just barely”; with AUX Delices, it’s “Four stars going on five?”. But the best may be his happy response to the EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar: “Hot damn! What a great meal!”